Torshael and Tayne's Story: Between Missions

Chapter Sixteen

Written in Collaboration with Dragonflight


An hour later, Tayne was still attempting to be lazy-- he even had his eyes shut-- when Tekas got around to moving again, slipping out from under his arm and and scooting over in front of the computer. He resisted investigating for as long as he could keep his curiosity under control, but he only lasted a few minutes before giving up and opening one eye. Sure enough, Tekas was sitting with the computer's glowing windows hovering around him-- Tayne could only see their backs, so everything looked backwards-- poking at things curiously.

Propping his head up on one hand, Tayne said helpfully, "It's called a computer. Weird, isn't it?"

"Extremely," Tekas agreed absently. "I much prefer books, no matter how large they get."

He did seem to have gotten the hang of surfing around-- not that it was particularly counter-intuitive. Just dabble one's fingers in the screen, and it went where your fingers did. He'd paused, now, on the hatching bays page of the Abstract Destiny sub-site. "So many different species," he murmured. "Can't even tell what these other two are, on this one...."

Tayne pushed himself the rest of the way up. "Caetrae," he said, once he could see it more clearly what he was talking about. "I did a little research into those, too, before I settled on the phoenix-sira clutch."

"Considering I don't recognize the name... what are they? I mean, that red one rather looks like it's been set on fire...."

Chuckling, Tayne explained, "It's born that way. If it stops burning, it dies, or something like that. It's of the fire element, the other's earth. Hmm, caetrae... uh." He tried to remember; he hadn't paid it a lot of attention before. "They're like... demons, I guess, on their homeworld, only completely mortal. These guys're specifically made to be nice, or good, though." He grinned a bit. "One of 'em's even got supernal blood thrown in. I met the donor last time I was here; nice guy, if a little boring."

Tekas stared at him like he was crazy. "A supernal mated with some sort of demon?"

He couldn't help it: he laughed. "It's not that hard to imagine, is it? I've been doing it for a couple weeks now-- after a fashion, anyway."

"Last I checked," Tekas said dryly, "I didn't lay eggs or otherwise spawn offspring after doing so. Unless, of course, there's something you've been meaning to tell me?"

At Tekas's smirk, Tayne burst out laughing. "No," he managed. "No eggs from me. That would take a miracle." Still snickering, he flipped himself over to put his head on Tekas's lap and still be able to hold a conversation. "Anyway," he grinned. "It doesn't work quite like that, there, anyway. There's no actual mating, pregnancy, or egg-laying going on-- it's some strange technological thing they do. They take bits and pieces from the parents and mix 'em together, somehow. I'm not entirely sure how it works, but Haiiro actually has four different parents. The caetrae, they have one parent each, plus a little bit from some other donor-- a supernal, and a little guy called a terisae. I think the fire ones have the supernal blood."

" ... 'Technology' is overrated," Tekas said, sticking the end of his tongue out in distaste.

"What, don't approve?" Tayne asked, amused.

"It's not that I don't approve...." Tekas trailed off, thinking. "I suppose it's just too foreign to make any sort of real judgment on. It just seems... I don't know, odd to me."

"Well, it's definitely odd, I'll give you that," Tayne agreed, shutting his eyes. "But I figure it's great for somebody who wants kids but can't have them, or the don't have a mate, or their mate isn't compatable, or whatever.... And hey, if they can make somebody like Haiiro, they can't be all that bad."

"I imagine you're right," Tekas said, and Tayne smiled when he felt fingers brushing over his hair, gently worrying out a tangle or two in the curls. It took him a minute to get around to talking again.

"Mmm, so what do you think about it all?" he asked, opening his eyes to look up at Tekas again. "Me bonding, I mean.... That going to be okay, even if you don't like kids so much?"

Tekas laughed lightly. "Why should I mind?" Tayne smiled a bit, at least glad for a quick and easy response. "And it's not that I don't like younglings," he added, "it's just that I'm not good at handling them. At least by myself. So just don't expect me to kit-sit alone, or anything... or, at least, do so at your own peril," he grinned.

Tayne chuckled. "Damn, no free kit-sitting? I was counting on that!" He reached up to trail his fingers down the side of Tekas's face gently; the infernal purred softly, leaning his cheek into the touch. "As long as you don't mind that I'll have a tagalong."

"I'm more hoping that your 'tagalong' doesn't mind me."

"Bah. Anyone who likes me'd better like you. Besides, you're likable." Tekas's purr, vibrating against fingers that had come to rest beside his throat, made him smile-- and rather wish he could reach Tekas's mouth with his own without hurting one of them. He settled for shifting his hand to run over it with the tips of his fingers, then dropping his hand back down to his chest. 

"You know," he said with a teasing smile, "could always sign you up for something."

" ... why?" Tekas asked skeptically, signature brow raised in query.

"I don't know, then you'd have a tagalong, too?" Tayne hadn't really expected him to take the suggestion seriously, and he grinned. "I'm just teasing, Tekas. I've got no idea whether you'd even want a bond."

"I'm sure it has its merits, but I don't really know, either." Tekas shrugged, and Tayne brushed a strand of brown hair back over his shoulder for him.

"Well, don't worry about it, or anything. I was just teasing."

"Pfft, you and your teasing." Tayne snickered as Tekas stuck his tongue out again, this time directly at him.

"Admit it, you like it," he prodded, grinning.

"I didn't say I didn't like it," Tekas sniffed back at him playfully.

"Well, good. As I'm not likely to stop anytime soon. Just let me know when I start getting annoying, a'right?" He grinned.

"Mmmhmm," Tekas promised absently, and Tayne shut his eyes again and sighed contentedly as he resumed stroking his fingers over and through his hair. He'd almost decided to doze off again when Tekas spoke up again. "Tayne?" He hummed in lazy acknowledgement. "How long do you think you'll be around after you bond?"

"High One, I don't know... hadn't thought about it." He looked back up at Tekas again, thoughtfully. "Might go home for a few days, let everyone meet the kid... but Torshael's likely going to wind up getting married, whether he really wants to or not, and that sort of thing'll take a while, especially if he gets busy with making eggs, afterwards. So we'll be inactive for a while, probably a few years, unless I volunteer for something solo or take a different partner." He paused, then laughed at Tekas's completely dumb-founded expression. "What, expecting I'd be running back a few days later?"

"Well...." Tekas's surprise was tinged with a little embarrassment. "Yeah, I suppose so. I figured you just had a bit of vacation, or so.... You never mentioned it was so complicated. And Torshael getting married?" He shook his head in disbelief. "He never really seemed the type, to me."

"Yeah, well, I expect he'll be saying the same thing," Tayne chuckled. "But the family isn't likely to be denied; they were already hinting when I left that it was time for him to have a clutch, what with-- you know, Dad, and all." He was mildly surprised at how difficult it was to bring that up, still, but changing the subject was quick and painless. "Besides, it's something Favored supernals do, after all, so he'll put up with it." He snorted lightly. "And probably wind up happy, anyway."

Tekas chuckled briefly, then pointed out, "So it doesn't seem like you have much in the way of your own plans, Tayne."

"Well... no, not really," he admitted. "I hadn't gotten that far, hadn't gotten much past bonding, actually. I'll have to find something to do, I know that, I just hadn't figured out what...."

"You ought to consider remedying that," Tekas smiled.

"Yeah, I should. I don't know, is there something in Shu-Riin I could do? Some kind of job?" He'd thought briefly, once or twice, of the Order, the Sentinels, but he didn't know any who weren't bonded to a Kynnese dragon-- or from off-world, for that matter-- so he didn't know if he'd even be allowed.

As if Tekas was spying on his thoughts somehow-- could he even do that?-- his suggestion echoed his own musings: "You have friends in the Order. I bet they'd enjoy working with you again."

"I'm not exactly normal recruit material," Tayne frowned, thinking. "I'm not a native, for one, and I thought you had to be bonded to one of the native dragons to be in it. Well, most of the time," he acceded, remembering Ghuarin, who was supposedly unbonded.

"I don't know all their rules, but I bet you could inquire." Tekas smiled, giving his shoulder a nudge. "And wipe that frown off you face."

Chuckling, Tayne did so. "Sorry, just thinking. I suppose I could. You wouldn't mind me sticking around for a while, I take it, then."

"Heavens, no, why would I mind?" Tekas grinned. "I rather like the idea of having you to myself for quite a while, as selfish as that may be."

"I doubt it's selfish if I'm pretty much in agreement," Tayne chuckled. "Though I do wonder how long you can put up with me bumming around your house."

"You know I enjoy your company, Tayne. Having you around makes that place really feel like home." Before he could get embarrassed at the sentiment-- he'd never had anyone say he made anywhere feel like home to them before-- Tekas added wickedly, "Besides, I think it could use that 'lived in' look that seems to follow you everywhere."

Tayne laughed. "Or maybe you mean 'messy'?" he suggested. "Well, if you're sure, then. I'm not about to turn you down...."

Tekas grinned at him happily, and he contentedly grinned back. They fell into a companionable silence, Tekas finger-brushing his hair gently and he rapidly relaxing into a happy, Tayne-shaped blob. Maybe he could get back to that dozing off bit, now.... 


Chapter Seventeen

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